Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or its character, those belong to J.K. Rowling.
Rated M For safe, and mature themes - Unsure Let if will contain 'lemons' since I'd rather not have my story removed. Nor do I know the final pairings let.
'Thoughts' / internal thinking
Midnight Gold, the Rise of the Forgotten Lord - Chapter 1: Gold Coins
Originally posted Dec 30th 2011
Revised by BuckeyeForLife on 19th Sep. 2012 (New Edition)
Harry James Potter looked around his tiny bedroom, frantic for a second, before realizing where he was. It had just been a dream, more like a nightmare really. Placing his hands on his face, as he took several slow deep breaths, trying to calm his nerves, and to help settle his roaring emotions, he sighed with a mixture of tiredness and despair at the situation. He always had the same reoccurring dream after suffering a beating from his uncle. It always set his pulse racing; it felt so real, so powerful in its haunting nature.
Harry opened the door to his cupboard, before looking out to see it was still dark outside. Looking over in the direction of the grandfather clock, to check the time, and too find out how long he had until he had to get up and start on breakfast. The clock hands indicated it had just gone past midnight, which made him smile. Being careful not to wake his relatives, and faintly whispering, "Happy Birthday to Me..." He was 11 now, so only another five more years of his hell hole until he could escape.
He hated his family with a passion; he hated the unfairness of his life. The only escape he had for these feelings was the books at his local library, and his mind. It was his only sanctuary from the hardships he endured, and the unfairness.
Moving back into his cupboard, causing his shoulders to protested at the sudden movement, triggering a wave of minor aches and pains across his back in response, which he ignored. Once again letting a tired sigh escape him, as he got back into his make shift bed, which happened to be an old battered sleeping bag, along with some old sheets he'd been able to save from being thrown out, to help keep him warm during long winter nights so he wouldn't freeze to death.
His body was still aching from his uncle's belt as he tried to make himself comfortable, without resting on his aching back. He had developed a tolerance to pain over the years, but there was only so much one could ignore. If anyone had examined his body, they would have seen it was covered with scars from all the beatings he had received. But his uncle had taken it as a personal challenge to make him beg, to beg him to stop the beating. Whilst his Aunt watched on, as if it was a perverted show for her entertainment, with wine glass in hand, drinking away.
What was worse was after they were done beating him raw, they would just dump him back into cupboard or leave him bleeding on the floor. They would then retreat back into their bedroom and have sex if he guessed correctly. Based on the animal like groans, moans, and grunts he'd heard coming from the floor above, in the direction of their bedroom.
Not that he had ever bothered to check his theory, since he was often not in any state to make his way up the stairs. The sounds alone were evidence enough to suggest their activities, as well the morning after duties, when he had to often clean up their room. It was so degrading, having to clean up after such filth, after such pigs, it just made him so angry, before he would remember the vow he'd made to himself each year.
"I swear someday I will have my revenge." It was the same promise he made to himself every birthday, since he had grown old enough to understand his mistreatment at his guardian's hands. It was the vow he made whenever thinking of beatings that he had endured; it was a promise that helped him to keep going.
Closing his eyes, and taking several deep breaths, he tried to relax. However, out of the corner of his eye he noticed a flash, a glint of gold coloured metal, which instantly triggered his interest, recalling how his cousin had set him up by stashing one of his Aunt's necklaces in his cupboard, then ratted him out. He would get his cousin back, that beating had left the biggest scar, suppressing his rising anger at the memory he reached out towards the gold object. It seemed to call to him, pulsing in darkness, calling to him to touch it.
Grasping it with his hand, he felt something engraved on the heavy object. Bringing it to his eye to look at it better, he saw it had a faint symbol of a dragon with the letters beneath it spelling out 'Gringotts Bank'.
Harry didn't recognize the name, nor the symbol on the coin. The only banks he could recall were NatWest and HSBC. Then again, what type of bank still uses gold nowadays? Looking back at the coin, and the unique dragon engraved on, he felt compelled to read it aloud, "Gringotts Bank?"
He felt a pulling sensation on his body. Blinking his eyes rapidly to take in the rapid movement around him that looked like a vortex, he tried to let go of the coin, but he couldn't. He tried to wake himself up, thinking that it had to be a dream.
Next thing he knew he was on floor; it was clear white floor, made of marble. The aches in his back burned as he pushed himself upright, climbing to his feet. Noticing the same odd dragon symbol as the gold coin in his hand on the marble floor caused him to start examining the room.
"Good Evening Mr. Potter, we have much to discuss," said an unknown voice, coming from behind him.
Turning to face the direction from which he had heard the voice, his heart started pounding instantly at the sight of the non-human individual, encased in black plate amour trimmed with gold.
"Please remain calm Mr. Potter, you're at Gringotts Bank, and all shall be explained to you in time," said the creature before him, causing him to blink several times, confirming what he was seeing.
Looking at individual or creature before him, he couldn't help but ask, fear lacing his voice, "What are you?"
A sneer appeared on the creature's face, before disappearing quickly as the creature schooled his features. His voice tinted with a hint of anger, looking him straight in the eye, "Mr. Potter, my name is Bloodmoon. I am your account manager, and you are currently at the Goblin bank called Gringotts, near central London. We provide banking services for magical Britain."
His mind starting running at max speed, trying to process what he was being told, trying to make sense of the information he'd been giving. 'Account manager? Goblin? Magical Britain?' the logical part of him rebelled at idea of magic, his aunt and uncle always said magic wasn't real. Plus he was man of science and math, but it made sense, he could feel it in his gut, in his core. Thinking over everything in his short life, he could remember strange things happening around him whenever he was mad or upset, like the TV going up in flames. Or the cupboard door unlocking, allowing him to get some food during the night.
Looking back at the creature, no he corrected himself, Goblin in front of him, watching him closely caused his heart to start pounding a hundred beats per minute, as he spoke the forbidden word aloud, "Magic? Or have I finally gone mad."
"No Mr. Potter, you're not mad, magic is indeed real," Bloodmoon answered patiently, whilst walking towards the table now at the centre of the room. This table had two silver goblets and a jug of water on it, before pouring a glass of water, prior to making his way back over to him and forcing the cup into his hand.
"Please drink this Mr. Potter, it is water, it will help calm your nerves, so I can begin to fill you in. I was informed you are currently living in a non-magical household with your Aunt. We were led to believe that she had knowledge of our world, and would have informed you of being wizard, and about your heritage," his account manager stated, before walking back to desk, looking back at him.
"Please take a seat," he said in a commanding tone.
Nodding quickly, recognizing the tone of voice, before making his way over to the offered seat as he thought over what Bloodmoon had just said about his Aunt, and that she knew of magic. This resulted in him looking quickly back at the goblin waiting for him, so he could continue on in his explanation, since he was getting the feeling that Bloodmoon hated time wasters. Taking the offered chair, he focused all his attention on his account manager, so it was clear that he was listening carefully and was ready for Bloodmoon to continue.
"It appears your Aunt has not informed you of your heritage, nor has she informed you of our world, therefore the task falls to me." Bloodmoon sneered, before adding "I forgive you of your rudeness, and your ignorance of our world."
He just nodded accepting Bloodmoon's apology of sorts since he didn't want to say anything else, and risk losing any more respect. But he felt he should at least say sorry for his earlier rudeness and hopefully he could start again. "I am sorry for my earlier outburst and rudeness, I meant no disrespect."
"Apology accepted Mr. Potter, now since it is clear you have no knowledge of our world, I have to ask, since it logical place to start," Bloodmoon said whilst looking at Harry across the desk, "What do you know of your parent's death?"
Answering truthfully and calmly, all the while trying to suppress his rising anger, as well mixture of other emotions, "Nothing besides what my Aunt and Uncle told me," he said with his own sneer. "But I expect now that it is a lie, based on everything you have told me," tears forming in his eyes as he spoke, prior to taking another couple deep breaths, trying to calm himself, before continuing on.
"My Aunt and Uncle told me my parents died in a car accident resulting from drunk driving. And that my father was a drug addict and my mother was a common whore," tears now flowing freely.
Looking up at Bloodmoon, it was clear that the goblin was angry at what he was being told, based on the new fire in his eyes and the rigid posture his account manager shifted to, before he finally spoke up confirming Harry's private hopes that it was an ugly lie. "Mr. Potter, your Aunt and Uncle have lied to you; both your parents were respectable members of the magical community. Both as Lord and Lady Potter, as well as in their careers, your father was a highly skilled and respected Auror, and your Mother was a respectable researcher." Before refilling the cup with water, as Harry processed this new information.
After handing the cup back to Harry, Bloodmoon continued his explanation, "Your Mother was an Unspeakable at the Ministry, essentially a researcher investigating magic, as well several other areas of research. Whilst you're Father, when not conducting his Lordship duties, was a Hit Wizard, who was responsible for leading a team of wizards and witches to hunt down and capture dangerous criminals, basically a high level law enforcement officer."
All he could do was nod, as Bloodmoon explained about his parents and their careers. It was comforting knowing the truth about his parents; it didn't make him feel worthless anymore.
"Now let me tell you the basics of what happened, just so you can understand, because I am not responsible for wizarding history, just your wider financial dealings," his account manager explained.
Clearing his foggy eyes as he looked back at his account manager, he said calmly as possible, "You have my full and undivided attention."
Two Hours Later
"I think that will be enough for this evening," Bloodmoon announced looking over at his clock.
"Ok I admit, I'm finding it more and more difficult to keep my eyes open, no matter how much I want to continue," Harry said. In the last two hours, Bloodmoon had managed to cover the basic magical history, as well as an introduction of magical Britain, and his parent's own history, or at least what he knew of his mum and dad.
"I have room already prepared for you," Bloodmoon said, folding up piece of paper and placing it back in his desk drawer. "We will continue our discussion in morning, after you've had the chance to process this new information," he said whilst looking at him, through his own tired eyes, before walking over to the office door.
"Bloodmoon, why did you collect me just after mid-night? It just seems unusual," Harry asked, because banks in the non-magical world were never open at this time of the night.
"Mr. Potter, we here at Gringotts have been trying to reach you for years. Your magical guardian has blocked our attempts through official channels; at the age of eleven you can claim your household rights. This wouldn't have been a problem due to your age, but we have also found irregular accounting within your household dealings; simply speaking we believe your vaults are being robbed," his account manager explained, looking at him seriously, with hints of anger rising in his features.
"Robbed?" he questioned, keeping his voice calm and level, but his insides aching at his misfortune, suddenly finding new energy to stay awake.
"Not robbed, in the sense of breaking and entering. But profits from your family portfolio are at an all-time low in the last 8 years. We here at Gringotts believe your magical guardian is changing the books we receive, and is redirecting profits made from investments and sales into shell businesses across Europe, before redirecting it elsewhere. Unfortunately due to laws, as well as our own rivalry with Dwarven clans, who control magical banking in magical France and Germany, we have had limited options without your consent, and that can't happen until you are at least eleven years old," Bloodmoon explained.
Harry just nodded in understanding, since he remembered reading about a similar story over a year ago in one of the financial newspapers his uncle read, where a man had managed to steal over 70 million pounds by using a similar method to what Bloodmoon was suggesting. He thought about it more as they walked, before asking respectfully, "I understand what you're saying, but why is claiming my household rights so important that you need to meet me a couple hours after midnight? Surely you could have waited until I arrived with a Hogwarts staff member for my banking introduction as is standard protocol." Remembering Bloodmoon's earlier introduction about magical banking; and how Hogwarts staff would often act as an escort for their charges, if their guardians or parents were non-magical.
"The laws state that you can claim your lordship on your eleventh birthday if you are the last of your line. But this has to be done within the first 168 hours, otherwise you have to wait until your 14th birthday, 16th, and then finally 17th birthday when you are official declared an adult," answered Bloodmoon, whilst walking to the suite that had been made ready for Harry to stay in.
"Simply speaking, you only had a week from midnight today to claim your birthright; otherwise you would have to wait for another 3 years until your 14 birthday. Effectively giving the one responsible for stealing from you longer to steal, or to cover his or her tracks before we could investigate on your behalf," his account manager said, moving toward pair of large double doors.
Bloodmoon quickly unlocked the door and handed over the gold key to Harry before continuing, "We believe your magical guardian to be involved, or has at least some knowledge of what has been occurring and the people responsible, mainly due to the fact he has denied the need for investigation into you accounts, which he could have authorized on your behalf. He also has blocked and denied our requests to have a meeting with you as soon as you reached your 11th birthday on the grounds that you would be too immature to handle such knowledge and responsibility. He has argued that you should have a normal childhood, like your parents would have wanted," Bloodmoon explained with a sneer, as he opened the doors for Harry.
"Due to the scale of this investigation, and the possible individuals involved, it could take several years to get to bottom of this crime and catch the responsible parties. Hence the sooner we get started, the better. Plus with us immediately talking to you, we can get a head start on the investigation before the individuals involved have a chance to further cover their tracks."
Harry tried to project a calm face at this news, but the thoughts of betrayal made that impossible. It was sickening that the person responsible for protecting his family assets was stealing from him, causing his anger to emerge and his voice to be laced with venom as he asked the next obvious question, "Who is my magical Guardian?"
"Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts," replied Bloodmoon, before disappearing down corridor, leaving Harry alone with his thoughts.
Harry was currently being escorted from his room back to Bloodmoon's office. Sadly he hadn't managed to get much sleep, with all things Bloodmoon said filling his mind with countless questions he wanted to ask.
Walking through a pair of silver doors, they moved into a vast marble hall. Harry looked around, taking in the amazing sight of a goblin-run bank. It wasn't very busy since it was still early in morning, and it had just gone past 9 o'clock. But there were still about a hundred goblins sitting behind desks, signing papers, scribbling in large ledgers, weighing coins in brass scales, and examining precious stones through eyeglasses. It was a hive of activity.
Harry couldn't remember passing through here the previous evening, maybe he hadn't noticed considering all that was on his mind. But the way his escort acted, it was almost like a tour, the only thing that was missing was the commentary.
Finally, they reached a corridor that he recognized from previous night. It was lined with doors on both sides with names engraved on plaques. Stopping at the door with gold name plate on it, with 'Bloodmoon' clearly inscribed in the centre with a clear blue sapphire at the end. His escort opened the door for him and led him through into the office he had been in previous evening.
He hadn't managed to take in much of the details the previous evening. The office was large and had various weapons mounted on the walls, from small plain daggers to gem-encrusted swords. The other wall was lined with two cabinets, one with files and another with several items that Harry didn't recognize.
"Please sit down Mr. Potter, and we will get started." Bloodmoon said, looking up from his papers before looking at his escort, "You may leave us, I'll summon you if you are required," gesturing for the armoured goblins to leave.
The armoured goblins bowed once to Bloodmoon, before leaving the office.
"Mr. Potter, I take it you are well rested?" his account manager asked from across the desk, wearing the same armour as the night before.
"Yes, thank you. Account Manager Bloodmoon, I have a quick question before we begin," he said seriously, seeing his manager sitting straighter at his words."I hope it does not cause you any offense, but I need to ask for my own peace of mind."
"You may ask, I'll try not to be offended," replied his account manager.
Harry look at Bloodmoon in eyes before continuing, trying to project an image of calm and seriousness, like Bloodmoon was, "After everything you told me, and how my magical guardian may be stealing from me, the most logical question would be, how can I trust you not to betray me as well?" Making sure eye contact was maintained whilst delivering the question.
A smile appeared, showing several sharp pointed teeth; it was bit unnerving. "Good question Mr. Potter, especially considering what has happen to you, but effectively me and my family are under a magical blood contract. If I were to betray you willingly, my life and my family's would be forfeited by the magic in our blood, due to breaking our agreement," Bloodmoon explained.
All he could do was nod at the statement, since he had no way of confirming it, so he would just have to take Bloodmoon at his word. However he made a mental note to look up what blood contracts meant, as well as any other types of magical agreements. Before saying, "Thank you for your support and advice then Bloodmoon, it is most valued."
"You're most welcome. Also, take into account; I get paid based on how much money you earn. So the more money I make you, the more I get paid. You could say I get paid based on commission," Bloodmoon said with a smile on his face. "So I think you can understand why it is in my best interest to ensure that you are successful."
Nodding in understanding, it also confirmed a theory he had been working on, after seeing how the bank worked during his short tour earlier. Goblins were a group driven by wealth, and were a race of merchants, as it were, haggling for prices on services and what not.
"Also, Mr. Potter," causing him to refocus his attention back on his account manager, "An additional reason why you can trust me, is that if you are successful, I move up in status here at bank. I am one of the oldest; the decline of your fortune, under the guardianship of Albus Dumbledore has threatened my own position, and my own chances of being promoted to a higher office. Also, the fact is if I get demoted, my life is forfeited and my son will replace me."
"Ok, I understand, it's in your own mutual interest to ensure that my wealth grows. Now shall we move on?" he asked, feeling better in knowledge that as long as there was profit in it, Bloodmoon wouldn't betray him. Of course he still had no way of confirming it.
"Indeed we shall. Now your mother and father's wills have been blocked by the ministry, and can't be unblocked to your 17th birthday," he said while raising a hand to stop Harry from questioning him.
Bloodmoon continued on, "We expect this was in part done by your magical guardian, we can only guess at his motives. Now the Potter Household is an ancient house, dating back over 2 thousand years. During this time Potter household has been in similar situations due to wars and conflicts, so a number of safeguards are in place, to help protect its members, and increase the chances of the house survival," pausing to allow the news to sink in.
"Your parents Mr. Potter were concerned for your upbringing and made preparations in case of their deaths, or unforeseen events to occur that would prevent them from fulfilling their duties. One of these preparations was declaring you an heir to one of the bloodlines titles was which previously thought to have died out several centuries ago."
'Ok my parents put in safe guards, that's good, what does he mean by bloodline?' he thought, whilst taking some calming breaths to help him focus, before replying, "Ok so you are effectively are activating a safeguard, but how does this bloodline work, and how does this help me?" he questioned rapidly.
"Mr. Potter, your family has two titles, but they have only used one, because this second title has a colourful history within the magical world. The Potter name has been used first because this was their original title, and is considered grander. The other was required through marriage. Due to your lordship being blocked through the Potter line, the safeguard activates this second lordship, effectively giving you same rights and privileges as you would have with Potter name. Then, you can then claim your Potter lordship at your 17th birthday, at the latest," the goblin explained with a predatory grin.
Smiling at the news, he rather liked the idea, and the more he thought about it, the more he liked it, it would be a fresh start, a new life, a means to forget his connection with his mother's sister's family. Looking back at Bloodmoon with his own predatory smile, "Ok, what is this second title called?"
End of Chapter